How AI is Changing the Customer Service Industry

It’s no surprise that AI (Artificial Intelligence) is really starting to make an impact in the customer service industry. How companies interact with customers is being strongly influenced by this emerging technology. Sure, the “chat bot” comes to mind immediately, but even that has taken a backseat to larger uses of AI which still involve (and improve upon) the human element.

Customers often seek out service because they have a problem and they want a person to empathize with them and make it right. Even with extremely sophisticated AI, a chat bot won’t be able to relate to a human experience, especially if it’s fueled by an emotional attachment.

So, how is AI changing the customer service industry to enable agents to make these human-to-human moments more impactful? Here are a few ways…

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10 Customer Service Tips and Tricks

In Business to Business (B2B) relationships vendors who are seen as a valued partner will see greater overall success and company growth. Customer support is an essential ingredient of these relationships and implementing a strong customer service strategy is the first step to providing exceptional customer support. 

With that in mind, here are 10 customer service tips and tricks to get you started:

1. Hire the right people

Great customer service professionals are empathetic, collaborative, tech-savvy, and 100% focused on customer satisfaction. Find these people and hire them, not just for customer support but for all functions.

2. Utilize technology

Get rid of the spreadsheets and "management by email". To be successful at customer support you need a cloud-based B2B customer service software that produces reduced support costs and happier clients. 

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Scripted customer support should be a thing of the past.

3. Abandon scripts

Effective B2B companies are seen as trusted advisors to their clients. As a partner, you should always personalize your interactions with clients and emphasize the human touch.

4. Emphasize collaboration

Collaboration is key in B2B customer support where issues are often more complex and customers have higher expectations. Sharing important information throughout the organization can position you as a leader in customer experience.

5. Understand the customer

You must always be working to better understand your customers - who they are, what industry they play in, their pain points, and most importantly their past relationship with you. If you don't understand them, how can you possibly help them? And of course your goal should always be to make your customers' lives easier.

6. Be proactive

Proactive customer support is the difference between a mediocre company and a growing one. Once you understand your customers you can take steps to address potential issues even before the customer is aware of them. A B2B customer support software can help you with this.

7. Empower clients

As a valued business partner you should empower your customers to find answers to their questions quickly and efficiently, using self-service and omnichannel customer support options that meet your customers' needs. 

8. Embrace omnichannel

Omnichannel is essential to B2B customer support. Your customers should be able to access you where, when, and how they prefer, no matter the channel. A good customer service strategy should span web-based, mobile, live chat, self-service, and email. Remember though that offering multi-channel isn't enough, you must offer a unified omnichannel customer experience

9. Consider operations
Effective customer service requires collaboration, efficiency and focus. The ideal help desk software should integrate with your other business software to improve operational efficiency and provide a better customer experience at the same time.

10. Plan for growth
Finally, adopt a forward-thinking customer service strategy and invest in software that can scale with you as your organization evolves. This will save time, money, and frustration for both you and your customers as you grow together.

The full article was originally written by our CEO, Robert C. Johnson for Business2Community. Read the full article here.

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